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New York Knicks are Showing Interest in Free Agent Combo-Forward Anthony Tolliver

July 10th, 2013 at 10:45 PM
By Kenneth DeJohn

The New York Knicks may not have much money left to spend this offseason, but they should have enough to add one more veteran forward to their roster. That player might just be Anthony Tolliver, a free agent who played last season with the Atlanta Hawks.

'Anthony Tolliver' photo (c) 2011, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Tolliver is still waiting for Atlanta to make him an offer, however, so it could be some time before he signs with a team. He was far from spectacular last season, averaging just 4.1 points per game and shooting 38 percent from the field. Even for a reserve forward, those numbers aren't very good.

For whatever reason, basketball-reference.com lists Tolliver as a center. That is simply incorrect, as power forward and small forward have been his primary positions during the course of his five-year NBA career. As a combo-forward, Tolliver has the length at 6'8" to be a smaller power forward, but the skills and shooting ability of a small forward.

Despite the down play the past two seasons for Atlanta and the Minnesota Timberwolves, Tolliver is a player that can help the Knicks win. He posted his best career season in 2010-11 with the T'Wolves, averaging 21 minutes per game and shooting 40.9 percent from three. Overall, he shot 45 percent from the floor and scored 6.7 points per game.

Tolliver would be strict bench depth for the Knicks, though he could find himself some playing time here and there. Power forward seems clogged with Andrea Bargnani, Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony all scheduled to see time there. He could see the most minutes at small forward, though Anthony and Iman Shumpert will see a majority of the time there.

His ability to be a combo-forward makes him extremely valuable. Head coach Mike Woodson can use him in a variety of situations and can use his length at small forward as an advantage. He's not the best defender in the league, but he's certainly good enough to hold his own.

Tolliver seems reluctant to leave the Hawks, but could have no choice if they refuse to offer him a contract. The Knicks are a likely destination if that's the case, and he wouldn't require all that much to sign. On a one-year, low salary contract, the Knicks can do much worse than Tolliver.

Tags: Andrea Bargnani, Anthony Tolliver, Atlanta Hawks, Basketball, Carmelo Anthony, Iman Shumpert, Mike Woodson, NBA, New York, New York Knicks

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